Deep Lake in Sun Lakes-Dry Falls State Park in Monument Coulee / 深湖

  • Reading time:8 mins read

Deep Lake in Monument Coulee nestles inside Sun Lakes-Dry Falls State Park. It lies in the lower part of the larger, 50-mile-long Grand Coulee. Meanwhile, Coulee City offers the quickest way to the east end outside the park.

Home away from home

See more trip photos here.

Deep Lake at a Glance

Access: Coulee City, Washington
Round Trip: 4 miles
Elevation Range: 1180′-1660′
Gear: none
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: yes

The Preface

We went to Chelan Butte this morning before going farther east to camp by Deep Lake. It was our third time visiting this part of Monument Coulee outside the state park. So far, we have yet to see anyone during our trip.

After years of “thinking” about it, I have decided to try my hand at video editing. So far, my filming’s extent has mainly been the one-minute panoramic clips. But shooting videos had always felt time-consuming, and it sure was!

At the foothills of Tiger Mountain

I opted for a short hike and camp by Deep Lake this weekend for my first video project. I shot some footage with the pups in the backyard two weeks ago. But it was the editing portion that took up most of the time.

See more trip photos here.

Sun Lakes-Dry Falls State Park

Most of Deep Lake lies inside Sun Lakes-Dry Falls State Park, part of Monument Coulee. By chance, I looked closely at the park map for nearby camp places. Then I spotted the area outside of the eastern border.

Till now, we’ve only camped four times in Eastern Washington. Three trips were out to this lake when it rained in the mountains. It’s also inside my favorite coulee as we’ve made six trips to the Umatilla Rock side alone.

En route to Deep Lake
En route to Deep Lake

See more trip photos here.

Deep Lake

The park service closes the gate by Mirror Lake during winter. So visiting during that time would add three extra miles roundtrip from the entrance. But the extra miles plus visiting Umatilla Rock already feel long.

Since we’ve only been to Deep Lake’s east end, I’ll try to see the west next time. But the downside of coming during the cold months is dealing with the wind gusts. So I may return during summer on a rainy day to avoid the crowds.

Dusty Lake west view
We meet again

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Overnight at Deep Lake

When we reached the lake, it was after sunset. So we went straight to bed after setting up the tent. The times before, we’d arrive at the camp spot in the afternoon. It gave us enough time to take a stroll along the south shore.

There is a footpath by the water if entering from the east. But judging from the map, the official trail from the west ends midway. Then the impressive basalt cliffs lining the north shore take over and aren’t conducive to walking.

Morning laps in Deep Lake
Morning laps in Deep Lake

See more trip photos here.

Leaving the Coulee

We would usually see hawks swirling overhead. But this time, the closest we were to “seeing” wildlife was the howling coyotes before sunrise. We walked down to the water in the morning so the pups could get in a few laps.

Despite being in the shade after sunrise, I didn’t want to linger. A warm weekend meant the weather would warm up faster than usual. But of course, we took our sweet time and didn’t leave until 8!

It took three hours to return to the car. But it would have taken two hours at most without shooting videos.

Leaving Monument Coulee
Leaving Monument Coulee

See more trip photos here.

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